Visualizing Emergence

A project currently in development, Visualizing Emergence seeks to explore and visualize phenomena of emergence in data representing technologically mediated human communication and exchange within a techno-social complex adaptive system (CAS).

Using textual analysis and other data as substrate, research will focus on data from CIV-DDD partners, IBM Cognos and public sources, possibly including Twitter and other accessible APIs. In time we expect to aggregate data from additional sources. Leveraging senior researcher and student contributions from OCAD and York Universities, the project will explore and exploit a synthesis of scientific, artistic and aesthetic techniques, with software from partners including IBM / Cognos.

Project challenges include:

  • Finding the right data set; evaluating data quality
  • Representing, managing multi-variant data
  • Models, metaphors; legibility, navigation

Visualizing Emergence will examine model-based scientific visualization of complex data sets as well as emergent systems, data mining techniques and visualization. We will test, review and select the most appropriate software approach for developing the data models and generating dynamic results. The work will also deliver findings tied to the following CIV-DDD project aims: appropriateness of 2D or 3D visualizations, visualization aesthetics, and use of specific vs. generic tools.


For more information, please visit .

Visualizing Emergence is supported by NCE-GRAND. This project is funded in part by the Centre for Information Visualization and Data Driven Design established by the Ontario Research Fund (ORF).


Photograph of sLab members Greg Van Alstyne and Trevor Haldenby working at a table
NCE logo
Monday, October 23, 2017 - 11:45am
Lab Member: 
Greg Van alstyne

Bus trip to the Doris McCarthy Gallery’s Complex Social Change exhibit

Woman holding a sign that says "I AM ONE OF DEM PEOPLE"
Monday, January 18, 2016 - 8:00pm to 11:00pm

Bus trip to the Doris McCarthy Gallery’s Complex Social Change exhibit
Date : Monday January 18
Departure time: 3pm
Return time: 6pm
Pickup & Drop off location: OCAD, 100 McCaul Street, main entrance

The bus has 48 seats. Right now there is 20 seats available. Please email if you intend to join us so I can reserve a seat for you.

Growing out of the debates regarding the recent Occupy movement and Idle No More, Complex Social Change is an interdisciplinary research program and collaborative partnership developed at the University of Lethbridge - this exhibition at the Doris McCarthy Gallery continues the program and brings it to Ontario. The artists investigate some of the larger issues surrounding complex social change, and the means by which sustained, active engagement can be produced within particular communities, resisting the political and economic pressures that encourage passive acceptance.

Works by Lori Blondeau & Adrian Stimson, Wendy Coburn, DodoLab and FAG Feminist Art Gallery (Abstract Random: Jamilah Malika, Sun Sun & Ayo Leilani, Sharlene Bamboat & Ali El Darsa, Cecilia Berkovic, Michèle Pearson Clarke, FASTWÜRMS, Jesi the Elder, Reena Katz AKA Radiodress, Deirdre Logue & Allyson Mitchell, Hazel Meyer, Heidi Nagtegaal, Ginger Brooks Takahashi & Dana Bishop-Root, Chris E. Vargas, Syrus Marcus Ware, Christina Zeidler)

Guest curated by Josephine Mills
Image credit: Michèle Pearson Clarke, Diplomatic Communication, 2012. Image courtesy of the artist.
Exhibition organized by the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery
Doris McCarthy Gallery
University of Toronto Scarborough
1265 Military Trail
Toronto, Ontario M1C 1A4. Canada
Complex Social Change - October 21, 2015 - January 23, 2016

The bus is made possible through the Faculty of Art, Art & Social Change Program and the Impact Collective

Venue & Address: 
Pickup & Drop off location: OCAD, 100 McCaul Street, main entrance